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Storm Lake City Council tables one water service waiver and denies another

Monday, February 14, 2005

The Storm Lake City Council Monday night decided to table a request for a waiver of the city's right to provide water service to the Pat Morgan residence at 1259 600th St., just north northeast of the city limits.

Morgan had applied for the waiver in order to be provided service by Clay Regional Water.

However, the property lies within the area protected by the city's two-mile agreement with Clay Regional Water for development immediately outside the city limits.

The city has the option to either waive its right to provide water service or to provide water service within four years.

The discussion teetered over the cost of the city for extending its current water service an additional seventh-tenths of a mile from where the service currently ends at the Holly Heights development.

The Council then focused on the disadvantage of having to not only buy out Clay Regional's water system in the event of eventual development in the area, but also having to upgrade the system to a six-inch line for fire service.

Clay Regional Water would not be required to install a six-inch line; however, the city would be required to install a line that large to support fire protection.

City Engineer Jim Winterton had recommended that the Council approve Morgan's request for a waiver.

"The location 1259 600th Street is not in an area that the city is expected to be able to serve within the next five to 10 years or become a part of the city limits of the City of Storm Lake," Winterton said. "The city staff review of the location showed that service to the property would not be cost effective and rural water would be the property's best alternative."

Despite the distance, and resulting cost, Mayor Jon Kruse pointed out that it remained unknown in what direction the city will grow.

City Attorney Paul Havens noted that the city's financial responsibility of having to buy out Clay Regional's water service to the area could be "pretty substantial."

Havens pointed out that the line might not meet city specifications either. The city is required to provide an adequate line for fire protection, while Clay Regional is not, making a difference between a 2-inch and a 6-inch line.

Mayor Jon Kruse noted that the reason for the two-mile agreement was so the city could protect its water services to development outside the city.

"I'm a little bit concerned that we approve either one of these," Kruse said, speaking of the Morgan waiver as well as one for Karlton Fullenworth at 6222 120th Ave. on the southeast edge of the Lakeside city limits.

While the Council had approved earlier waivers, Kruse said more information was needed to make a decision, and the Council tabled the waiver application.

Addressing the Fullenworth application, Winterton said there was water available from the City Storm Lake east of the property, and so recommended the city deny the waiver.

The council approved Winterton's recommendation.

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